In the previous post (The Weekly Oregonian, Saturday, January 24, 1857) I included several bits of news that I will expand on and add resources which you may want to check to look for additional information.
First up is the announcement for submitting Indian War claims.
Persons having Claims against the Territory of Oregon, growing out of the existing Indian War, that have not been duly vouched for by the proper officer of any of the departments of the military organization of said Territory, and certificates or other proper vouchers given, are requested to present the same before the Commissioner at the Seat of Government of Oregon Territory, who will there open an office on the 1st day of January, 1857, to audit and adjust all such claims as may be presented that belong properly to his official jurisdiction.
Philo Callender, Commissioner of War Claims
Let’s say I have an ancestor that was living in Oregon during this time period (I don’t) and I want to know if my ancestor filed a claim, where would I look for information?
My first stop was the Oregon State Archives to see if they held any records for these claims. Selecting Archival Records, then Genealogy, I found a category for Military Records under the heading “Topical Research Aids.” This provides a brief overview of the categories of records available and a Series Listing. I found two items referencing Indian War claims that fit the 1856-7 time period. Since they did not have links to further information I decided to look at the Oregon Military Department Records Guide, 1847-1986. Here I found a link for Record series descriptions. Bingo! Here were links which led me to a description of what was in the records.
The Cayuse and Rogue River Indian War Claims Records are part of Accession Number 89A-012. You can read more about this record group under the Scope and Content Note link.
Cayuse Indian War Claim Records, 1847-1858
Boxes 45-47 contain 2.5 cubic feet of records filed in chronological order by date. Claims for services, supplies, or destroyed property were submitted to the Provisional government or Territorial government. The website describes the contents as “Records include receipts, affidavits, account statements, orders, and certificates of work performed. Series also includes the final determinations of the Cayuse War Claims Commission.”
Rogue River Indian War Claim Records, 1853-1859
These records are filed alphabetically by the claimants surname. Box 53 contains .25 cubic feet of claims filed with the Territorial Government and similar to the Cayuse claims included “receipts, vouchers, account statements, claims, service certificates, affidavits, suspended claims lists, and correspondence.”
To learn more about accessing the records you would need to contact the State Archives, 800 Summer St NE, Salem, OR 97310-1349, (503) 373-0701. The archives is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, M-F.
Additional records in the State Archives on these Indian Wars:
Cayuse Indian War Bonds, 1847-1850
Rogue River Indian War Enlistment Rosters, 1854-1858
Rogue River Indian War Maps, 1855-1856
Rogue River Indian War Supply Records, 1853-1857